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Top 10 Tips Digital Photography 101

Avoid a Digital Disaster

Camera Clubs in Queensland

Cropped Photos

File Formats Choices

File Requirements & Sizes

Great Wedding Photos

Holiday Photo Tips

Learning Colour

Photo Composition Tips 'n' Tricks

Photographing Kids Tips 'n' Tricks

Photo Classes

Portraits Outdoors Lighting Control Tips

Top 10 Photo Tips for Christmas

The Truth About Video Tape

Travel Hints

Water Damaged Photos

cropped photos

The standard image from a digital camera does not fit onto some of our common print sizes without significant modifications.

  • “Why are the prints I ordered from my digital camera missing parts of my picture?” “Why are the heads cut off?” “The people on the left and right side of my original picture are missing.”
  • “When I get the entire digital camera image printed, I have blank white spaces along the print edges and have to trim the prints ... Why?”
  • “Why are my 4-by-6 or 8-by-10-inch prints cropped?”


When camera manufacturers moved from film to digital, they adopted a new standard image size. The dimensions of this new image size are in the ratio of 4:3 and do not fit evenly into many of the conventional size prints … the print areas are either a bit too wide on one side or too long on the other.


This is no different than watching an old movie on your widescreen TV!


You have the black bars at both ends of the widescreen TV when watching an old movie because the movie was formatted for a standard TV. In the normal version, the entire picture area is visible. If we zoom in to fill the entire screen, we lose some of the picture in the vertical direction.


A similar situation exists in photography, but we use different terms.

  • Normal (on TV) is called Crop to Fit in photography. This means that 100 percent of your image is on the print, but there may be white space that is not used because the image is a different shape.
  • Zoom (on TV) is called Crop to Fill in photography and means that your image has been enlarged to fill the entire print, so some of it may be off the edge of the print and not visible – just like zoom mode on TV.




  • When snapping a photo, make certain that important subject matter is not close to the bottom, top, or sides of your image.
  • Look for a print size that conforms exactly to your captured image size. Examples: 4” x 5 1/3”, 4.5” x 6”, or 6” x 8”.
  • Understand your camera and what print format best fits your camera’s output.
  • Check to see if your camera offers the capture of an image in a conventional print size format.
  • If seeing 100 percent of your image is crucial, make a larger Crop to Fit print and trim it to suit. Remember that the trimmed print will not fit a standard frame.
  • If you are in a retail store, ask to see a chart of the print sizes.
  • If you are submitting images for printing online please check your cropping when ordering